Amir Khan champion Boxer and future boxing leg...Image via Wikipedia

FRANK WARREN recently pointed out that Naseem Hamed was never the same fighter after he split from him, finally ending a fairy tale unbeaten career by losing to Marco Antonio Barrera,.

Not long after Hamed decided he did not need Warren, the Prince’s career was over and Warren says that Hamed has regretted that decision ever since.

Forward to 2010 and the career of Amir Khan, signed up by Frank Warren Promotions in 2005, when Khan turned professional after his Silver medal success at the Olympic games.

Warren has stood out as the top promoter in the UK for the last twenty odd years, and as guided or been involved with most of British boxing top names, bringing them success, and as so far done a very good job with the Bolton man, bringing his career along nicely and helping to get Khan the big fight nights, titles, and a World title fight.

This after re-building his reputation after his shocking first round loss to Breidis Prescott in September 2008 and has turned his career around.

Warren said last week he hoped Khan would not develop “amnesia” and forget the loyalty he himself showed when the youngster was knocked out by Prescott.

When asked if he thought Khan may consider forming his own promotional company, Warren said: “Look, whatever’s going to happen is going to happen.”

“You just hope that people don’t suffer from amnesia, that’s all I can say.

“I have delivered all I said I was going to do. When he turned pro I said I’d look after him and I’d make sure he wins a world title and I’ve done that.

Khan has been speaking recently of moving to the United States, to live and train there permanently or at least throughout his boxing career.

Id guess with these questions being branded about and the speculation of Khan moving to the States, that the writing was on the wall, chances are negotiations have been tight for a while with team Khan and Warren.

Khan is highly-regarded on the other side of the pond within the boxing fraternity, and his reputation has expanded in the last 15 months under the guidance of Freddie Roach, in his Hollywood Wild Card Boxing Club.

Khan has a professional record under Warren of 22-1 – with 16KOs decided after that defeat to Prescott, that he had to change trainers, and also the distractions of his now celebrity like status in the UK, by upping sticks to LA and teaming up with Freddy Roach.

After beating Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera in March he defeated Andreas Kotelnik to take the WBA belt, defending it with a first-round stoppage of Dmitriy Salita in December.

Those impressive performances made a significant statement in America, not least to Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy colleagues, Golden Boy promotions is now the main player in boxing promotions.

Khan has apparently been unhappy with an offer from Warren for his next fight a mandatory defence of his title. Team Khan, who had been working with Warren on a fight-by-fight basis for recent fights, has apparently agreed to a three-fight deal with Oscar De La Hoya’s company.

Khan and Golden Boy came to terms on Friday, but it was not announced until Sunday.

“I am really happy Khan Promotions is partnering with Golden Boy as I know that together they will be the right team to help me continue my career as an elite fighter and to expand my fan base to the United States and around the world,” Khan said.

“I’m ready to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime and know that Golden Boy will help me accomplish these goals.”

The shock move does possibly open up a British super-fight with Ricky Hatton somewhere down the line if both stay unbeaten, then it is possible that the fight will make itself, now that Warren is out of the picture, the stage could be set for team Hatton and Golden Boy, who are friends and have worked together to make the fight without too many problems. 

A Promoters Dream

Boxing legend and founder of Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya said: “Amir Khan is one of the most talented fighters in the world at any weight.

“That talent, combined with his charismatic and out-going personality, makes him a promoter’s dream and I feel will one day lead him to being the face of boxing.”

“In continuing with its goal to expand boxing on a global level, Golden Boy Promotions is extremely pleased to announce that a strategic alliance with Khan Promotions has been entered into to promote one of boxings hottest young world champions, British superstar Amir Khan,” said a statement.

“Khan Promotions have teamed with Golden Boy to promote Khan with the goal of expanding his presence globally, particularly in the United States, and looks to continue his reign as world champion in the biggest and best fights.”

Who Next for Khan?

So where does leave Khan for his next fight?  An opponent, date and location for Khan’s next fight will be announced shortly, according to Golden Boy, with mandatory challenger Marcos Maidana the most likely candidate, that fight had already gone out to bids.

It is unclear if Khan will face Maidana, a dangerous opponent whom trainer Freddie Roach would prefer him not to face. If Khan does not face Maidana, then he could possibly be stripped of the title. It is also possible that Maidana could be paid to step aside and allow Khan an interim bout.

Golden Boy is a partner with Germany promoter Universum on Maidana’s promotional contract; so that is a possibility, but would that do Khan any favours? Certainly not!

Maidana is the opponent and deserving contestant to face the current champion, which is Khan, then avoiding that fight because “he is dangerous” does nothing for Khan’s claim as a worthy champion.

Amir must take on this challenge with the mind of a champion; he would certainly gain enormous respect just for taking the fight.

Former world champion Hatton had previously dismissed the chance of fighting his close friend Khan because of the problems he has had with Warren who was Hatton’s promoter from the start of his career and guided the Manchester Mexican to the ultimate prize, when he defeated Kosta Tszyu to become the undisputed light-welterweight champion.

Hatton had said: “I don’t have to fight Amir Khan. Amir Khan is a friend of mine.

“He’s promoted by Frank Warren so with the differences between me and Frank Warren over the years I don’t believe that to be possible.”

Although Hatton did add: “I’m very proud of what Amir Khan has done, the way he’s turned his career around, winning the world title.

“But Amir Khan has still to do it at two weights and win four more world titles like I have done.

“It’s not impossibility but I’d say that’s not top of the list.”

Khan has also been linked strongly with New York’s Paulie Malignaggi, who Ricky Hatton beat in November 2008, but as since gone on to prove himself in beating David Diaz – to also, like Khan, claim a version of the light-welterweight crown.

The sure thing now is that Khans next fight will be in America, the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip beckons for the Lancashire star.

By Chris Maylett


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